Listen — one day, a woman and a man lay together. They pushed and pulled and pulsed against each other’s bodies under the early afternoon sun. In that moment, when greatest tension gives way to greatest release, the woman’s acceptance crossed over into something more and she cried out: “Mmm!” It was the same noise every other human noise had always been, yet something about it was undeniably different. It didn’t mean “I accept” or “I acknowledge” or even “I concur” but “Yes.” She had come to know pleasure; a new word had been conceived.

Michele Oberholtzer is a writer, engineer, activist, and bicycle bell peddler. Her writing can be found at